Skip to main content

Gujarat's controversial internal security bill is copy of similar law Maharashtra government withdrew in August

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani
By Our Representative
Knowledgeable circles in Gujarat have revealed that the state government-proposed Gujarat Protection of Internal Security (GISP) Bill, whose contents have not yet been made public yet, is a “poor copy” of the similar Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Bill, 2016, which was “withdrawn” under public pressure on August 26 (click HERE).
While the Maharashtra government, especially its chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, reportedly suffered a “huge embarrassment” after he was forced to withdraw under public pressure a notification to come up with the Bill, these circles say, “Gujarat appears least concerned.”
Like Gujarat's, the Maharashtra Bill had proposed to make it “compulsory” for all public spaces – whether publicly or privately owned – to have CCTV surveillance and security arrangements, which would be mandated by the police. The public spaces were proposed to be routinely audited for their security arrangements.
Similarly, the Maharashtra Bill had proposed up to five years imprisonment for merely showing cops in poor light. Section 14 (6) of the Bill, for instance, had stated, “Any police officer may use such force as may be necessary, in order to stop the commission of any offence under this Act, within his view”.
The Maharashtra Bill had also proposed to set up Special Security Zones (SSZs), where powers were to be given to to the police chief to ban or regulate the “production, sale, storage, possession, or entry of any devices or equipment or poisonous chemical, biological or radioactive article or substances, or electronic content of potentially explosive nature or any inflow of funds.”
This was interpreted as an effort to clampdown on NGOs receiving foreign funds. Also, it was pointed out, the Bill was not clear what it meant when it had sought to ban the entry of “electronic content of potentially explosive nature” in SSZs – bombs or to electronic media. This was left open to interpretation.
Like Gujarat's, the Maharashtra Bill had further proposed had included under “subversive activities”any act which were “intended” or were “likely to endanger” communal and caste harmony, safety or stability of the state or any part thereof.
It had also proposed to take action against efforts to “impede, delay or restrict any work or operation, any means of transport or locomotion, necessary for the production, procurement, supply or distribution of any essential commodity.”
Pointing out that the word ‘anything’ was particularly dangerous, legal experts had said, even rail roko agitation, a demonstration in front of a municipal office, a denunciation of the caste system, a speech about police corruption would all be considered 'subversive acts'.
Demanding that the Gujarat government should make public the GPIS Bill to allow citizens to draw their own conclusions, top Gandhian civil rights organization, Gujarat Lok Samiti (GLS), in a statement has said that the Gujarat Bill, likely to be introduced in the next Budget Session, would lead to “lead to suppression of their liberty and freedom.”
The GLS said, through this Bill the state government was proposing to “arrest any person without any complaint or any process of law in the name of curbing terrorism, sedition and communal, caste or community violence.”
“Another matter of serious concern is that the Bill proposes to to CCTV camera in house, organization or office”, the statement says, adding, this way, the government would have the right to infringe upon the privacy of any citizen.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Oxfam on WB project: ICT 'ineffective', privatised learning to worsen gender divide

By Rajiv Shah 
A top multinational NGO, with presence in several developed and developing countries, has taken strong exception to the World Bank part-funding Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project in six Indian states – Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha – for its emphasis on information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled approaches for teacher development, student assessment and digital platform for early childhood education.